Dear SOS: On a recent trip up to Marin County (Calif.), we joined a few old friends at Marinita’s. Oh, my. I’m not a ceviche lover, but this takes the town. This would be a great recipe to have, if you can get it out of her. If you can’t — I’ll call the NSA.
— Gary Hall, Los Angeles
Dear Gary: Marinita’s in San Anselmo, Calif., was happy to share its recipe, which you can find below.
Serves: 2 to 4
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground chili arbol
3/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup lemon juice
In a small saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and saute until aromatic, then remove the pan from heat. Stir in the chili arbol. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in the agave syrup and lemon juice. Set aside. This makes more chili water than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the mixture can be used as a marinade and will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
12 ounces sushi-grade salmon filet, 1/2 inch thick, preferable from the belly
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
1 large navel orange, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons of finely diced serrano chilies with seeds, or to taste
1/4 cup finely diced red onions
1/4 cup aji amarillo puree, or to taste
3/4 cup chile water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
Salt and pepper
1. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. Pat the spice blend all over the salmon fillet.
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil and sear the salmon quickly on both sides. Remove the salmon and set aside until cool enough to cut. Dice the cooled fillet into cubes one-third to one-half inch thick and refrigerate until chilled.
3. In a large bowl, combine the diced salmon with the orange, serrano chilies, red onion, aji amarillo puree, chile water, cilantro and green onions. Taste and season if desired with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories 476; Protein 19 grams; Carbohydrates 36 grams; Fiber 2 grams; Fat 30 grams; Saturated fat 4 grams; Cholesterol 47 mg; Sugar 30 grams; Sodium 967 mg
Note: Adapted from Marinita’s in San Anselmo, Calif. The restaurant recommends serving the ceviche with diced avocado and tortilla chips or totopos. Because salmon sometimes carry parasites, it’s always best to freeze it for 30 minutes before completing the recipe if you’re going to serve it raw.